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Hong Kong leader likens Capitol attack to pro-democracy protests, accuses U.S. of “double standards”

The Beijing-appointed chief of Hong Kong accused U.S. officers on Tuesday of getting a double customary for backing enormous pro-democracy protests in her metropolis whereas condemning the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.

Chief Govt Carrie Lam issued the remarks, which mirror sentiments voiced by the central Chinese language authorities, in response to a query in regards to the mass arrests final week of pro-democracy activists within the Chinese language area.

Greater than 50 activists and politicians had been swept up within the raids, most of whom had been later launched, underneath a controversial new “nationwide safety” legislation imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing. U.S. and European leaders, together with many Hong Kongers, have condemned the legislation because the nail within the coffin of the town’s long-time semi-autonomy from Beijing.

The arrests on January 6 introduced swift condemnation from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Calling them “an outrage” and threatening new sanctions towards China, Pompeo mentioned the detentions had been “a reminder of the Chinese language Communist Social gathering’s contempt for its personal folks and the rule of legislation. These arrested are responsible of nothing however exercising the democratic rights promised to them by treaty, and because of them by advantage of their humanity.”

His assertion got here hours earlier than dozens of President Trump’s ardent supporters, pushed by his false claims of election fraud and repeated requires a “struggle” towards what he portrays as a Democratic Social gathering conspiracy towards him, stormed into the Capitol as lawmakers ready to certify the U.S. presidential election outcomes. The assault left 5 folks lifeless.

Mr. Trump’s aggressive rhetoric, together with calls simply hours earlier than the melee for his supporters to march on the Capitol, drew resounding condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike. Many, together with President-elect Joe Biden, immediately accused him of inciting an revolt.

However in Hong Kong and Beijing, as in lots of capitals world wide, it wasn’t Mr. Trump’s function however the condemnation of the violence that supplied fodder for undemocratic leaders searching for to painting america as hypocritical.

“I ask overseas audiences to put aside their double requirements. It looks as if in the event that they have a look at affairs of Hong Kong and of the mainland [China] they use a really totally different customary than the one utilized to their very own nation,” Lam instructed reporters on Tuesday.

She claimed the 2019 protests that paralyzed Hong Kong, drawing tons of of hundreds of individuals onto the streets for largely peaceable demonstrations, noticed “rampant violence and riots,” however had been applauded and even inspired by the West “underneath the guise of democracy.”

“When the identical factor appeared to occur in their very own nation, they instantly took a really totally different method to sentence the violence, and a few mentioned that this was verging on sedition in American society,” Lam charged.

There have been some incidents of violence in Hong Kong, together with some property injury and clashes between protesters – usually armed with little greater than umbrellas – and closely armed riot police.

The overwhelming majority of the violence witnessed by CBS Information, nonetheless, was the tough crackdown by Hong Kong’s police pressure, who wielded tear fuel, water cannon and batons towards peaceable demonstrators.

A whole bunch had been swept up in mass arrests. Many stay in jail right this moment, and people who managed to flee admit that underneath the brand new “nationwide safety” legislation, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy motion is down, if not out.

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